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The Gullibility Virus

How gullible are we?

First John 4.1

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 12, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. Would you like to sign a petition
    1. demanding strict control or
    2. total elimination of
      1. the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.”
      2. This chemical:
        1. causes excessive sweating and vomiting,
        2. is a major component in acid rain,
        3. causes severe burns in its gaseous state,
        4. if inhaled can kill you,
        5. contributes to erosion,
        6. decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes, and
        7. has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.
    3. How many of you are ready to sign such a petition?
      1. You are not going to like me.
      2. A petition does not exist.
        1. Do you know why there no petition exists?
          1. When you learn what dihydrogen monoxide is
          2. you will understand that
            1. we cannot control it or
            2. eliminate it totally, and
            3. we should not!
    4. Look at the words.
      1. “Dihydrogen” is a compound word.
        1. “Di” meaning two.
        2. “Hydrogen” is a
          1. colorless,
          2. odorless,
          3. flammable
            1. gas and
            2. is the lightest of the known elements.
        3. So, we are talking about two of these.
      2. “Monoxide” is also a compound word.
        1. “Mono” meaning one.
        2. “Oxide” is a compound
          1. in which oxygen
          2. is bonded to
            1. one or more
            2. electropositive atoms.
        3. Monoxide is an oxide
          1. containing one oxygen atom
          2. in each molecule.
      3. Therefore, dihydrogen monoxide is
        1. H20 or
        2. water!
  2. Do you see how I was able to trick you?
    1. I have credibility in your eyes, or at least I did!
      1. Therefore, you were ready to believe me.
      2. Of course, some, not even knowing me,
        1. like to hear alarmist news, or
        2. thrive on crises, and so,
          1. kind of enjoyed hearing that there was new danger
          2. from which the government must protect us.
    2. This is a setting where we are more likely to believe.
      1. So, is the television news,
      2. especially if they interview “experts.”
    3. We do hear of dangers constantly.
      1. Some of them are genuine.
      2. We want to live danger-free lives,
        1. therefore, we were ready to hear
        2. warnings of any danger.
    4. I tapped into your fears.
    5. And, well, you might be infected with the Gullibility Virus.
  3. The Gullibility Virus
    1. Many people are becoming infected by this virus
      1. that causes them to believe without question
        1. every groundless story,
        2. gossip, or
        3. dire warning
      2. that shows up in
        1. e-mail,
        2. television sets,
        3. neighbors, or
        4. fellow church members.
        5. The Gullibility Virus apparently makes people believe and
          1. pass on
          2. anything they hear
            1. without thinking whether it might be true, or
            2. whether they should investigate it.
              1. Some do not want to investigate or think.
              2. Fine, do not pass it on.
  4. Be Inoculated Against the Gullibility Virus
    1. Inject yourself with the discernment vaccine.
    2. The hypodermic syringe and needle is the word of God.
    3. The pump is daily meditation in the Scriptures.


  1. The Scriptures Command Us to Be Discerning
    1. First John 4 destroys gullibility quickly.
      1. God does not want us to be involved in anything dangerous, but
        1. He also wants us
        2. to be wise as serpents, and
        3. as harmless as doves.

          1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1Jo 4.1).
      2. First, the Holy Spirit says do not believe
        1. everything you hear or
        2. everything you see.
      3. Test the people and
        1. test what they are saying.
        2. Test them with the word of God.
    2. First Thessalonians 5 is short and easy to memorize.
      1. If you have a tendency to believe everything you hear,
      2. memorize this verse.
        1. You will be amazed by the increase in your discernment level.

          21 Test all things; hold fast what is good (1Th 5.21).
        2. Do not fear to do what the Bible says.
          1. If you fail to do it,
          2. you might be led astray or
            1. you might pass on misleading information and
            2. lead someone else astray.
    3. Second Corinthians 13 has prevented me
      1. from being caught up in gossip or
      2. believing the abundance of false information or charges
        1. that are made against people or groups of people.

          1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2Co 13.1).
        2. How many people are repeating the information?
        3. Are they witnesses?
          1. Just because you have heard it from 20 sources
          2. does not mean they are all witnesses.
            1. They may just be repeating what they have heard
            2. from someone who does not know what he is talking about.
    4. In Second Corinthians 13, Paul quoted Deuteronomy 17 and 19.
      1. There is a procedure in the Law of Moses that is still valid.
      2. Do not believe everything you hear, but investigate.

        2 “If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant, 3 who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, 4 and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, 5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones. 6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among you” (Deu 17.2–7).

        15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. 16 If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. 18 And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19 then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you” (Deu 19.15–19).

  2. Knowing The Scriptures Prevents Deception
    1. Isaiah 8 drives my message, and
      1. it will prevent deception,
      2. especially in some matters that I will bring up shortly.

        20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isa 8.20).
    2. Second Peter 3 makes my case.
      1. If you are growing in the right stuff,
      2. you will not grow in the wrong stuff.

        17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen (2Pe 3.17–18).
  3. Are These Things True?
    1. Madalyn Murray O’Hare
      1. She had prayer from public schools successfully,
      2. later, people believe that she is trying to remove religious broadcasting.
          1. This rumor had been going on since at least the early 80s.
          2. In the early 80s, I immediately contacted the FCC.
            1. There is no truth to her alleged petition.
            2. Moreover, the woman was murdered years ago, and
              1. her organization no longer exists.
      3. How do we use the Scriptures in regard to her?
        1. Keep praying,
          1. even at school,
          2. as Daniel did when prayer was outlawed.
        2. Before passing on information about her, investigate.
    2. NASA Computers
      1. This rumor says that NASA was trying to figure out the alignment of the planets for a space mission, and
      2. they needed to know where all the planets would be
        1. by finding out where they had been.
        2. As their computers went back in time,
          1. they suddenly came to a halt.
          2. A day was missing.
            1. One scientist remembered as a child in Bible class
            2. Joshua asked God to stop the sun
              1. for about a whole day.

                12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:

                “Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
                And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
                13 So the sun stood still,
                And the moon stopped,
                Till the people had revenge
                Upon their enemies.

                Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel (Josh 10.12–14).

            3. So, that information was allegedly put into NASA’s computers,
              1. but they stopped again,
              2. because ten minutes were missing.
                1. Again, it was recalled that in the Bible
                2. someone had the sun go back ten minutes.

                  9 Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?” 10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz (2Ki 20.9–11).
      3. Did NASA’s computers find a missing day in history?
        1. First, remember GIGO, that is, Garbage In, Garbage Out.
          1. Computers are wonderful devices, but
          2. they cannot find information
            1. that was never put into them in the first place.
            2. They only output, what we input.
        2. Second, when they put in Joshua’s information,
          1. how did they know to leave off ten minutes?
          2. The Bible says it was “about a whole day,” but
            1. it does not say how much was lacking.
    3. Surah 9:11
      1. There is some information being passed around,
      2. mostly through the Internet (I have received several copies),
        1. that supposedly the Qur’an says
        2. in Surah 9:11 (of course, note the numbers) the following,

          For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace.
        3. The first thing I did when I read this
        4. was go to my copy of the Qur’an.

          But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, they are your brethren in faith; and We make the communications clear for a people who know.
    4. The Shroud of Turin
      1. There is a Catholic Church in Turin, Italy
      2. that houses what is alleged to be the burial cloth of Jesus.
        1. However, familiarity with the burial of Jesus in the Bible reveals
        2. that the Shroud of Turin is not the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
          1. National Geographic (June 1980) show how the Shroud was used.
          2. However, this does not fit the biblical record.

            5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been
            around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself (Joh. 20:5–7).


  1. We only hurt
    1. ourselves,
    2. the cause of Jesus Christ, and
    3. the church
      1. when we are gullible and
      2. pass on false information.
        1. We waste time,
        2. hurt someone’s reputation (if it is gossip),
        3. ruin our credibility, and
        4. live in fear.
  2. If you feel like living dangerously today,
    1. pour yourself a big tall glass of dihydrogen monoxide.
    2. If you drink it,
      1. you may die of cancer.
      2. If you do not drink it,
        1. you will die anyway!
        2. Why not be baptized in dihydrogen monoxide and avoid hell?